NEW photos and video have for the first time shown the illegal construction of artificial islands in the contested Spratly Islands is all but complete.
Combined with recently released Chinese state media propaganda footage, what they show in close-up detail confirms the fears raised by analysis of commercial satellite photographs: these are massive, impecabbly constructed and impressively equipped military fortresses.
Beijing has spared no expense in simply seizing these mid-ocean reefs, turning them into islands — and unilaterally declaring them sovereign territory.
It’s a territorial claim rejected by an international court of arbitration in 2016.
But Beijing has ignored the ruling.
Possession is, after all, nine-tenths of the law …